Syria: coping mechanisms utilised by displaced refugee parents caring for their children in pre-resettlement contexts

Abstract: Evidence shows an increased risk of psychological distress and mental health problems in refugee populations. Despite this, refugees often display the ability to continue to function, to recover and live meaningful and productive lives. Parents’ mental health and coping style is significant to the mental health and wellbeing of their children. The aim of this study was to explore the coping mechanisms utilised by displaced Syrian refugees who care for children.

Syria: the challenges of parenting in refugee situations of immediate displacement

Abstract: The way parents care for their children during displacement plays a key role in children's emotional and behavioural outcomes. Yet, sparse literature exists regarding the parenting challenges faced by families fleeing conflict in transitional, pre-resettlement stages.

Highlighting the mental health needs of Syrian refugees

This personal reflection discusses the author's personal involvement supporting the mental health needs of Syrian refugees. The mental health needs of this population includes a wide range of psychological problems that require further evaluation to fully understand. The scale of the problem is huge, affecting large numbers, some of whom were subjected to prolonged torture and witnessed daily bombardments.

Takamol: multi-professional capacity building in order to strengthen the psychosocial and mental health sector in response to refugee crises in Syria

The massive influx of Iraqi refugees into Syria in 2006 put an immense strain on the already under-resourced mental health sector. This prompted a consortium of international agencies to create an Interagency Working Group (IAWG) in 2008, with the goal of national capacity building. This Interagency Working group merged into a National Advisory Board that included the Syrian government. An integrated one-year master training programme for mental health professionals was designed.

Mental health of refugees and displaced persons in Syria and surrounding countries: a systematic review

Over the past two years, Syria went from being the third largest refugee hosting country in the world to the largest refugee producing country. This article provides the findings of a systematic literature review on the mental health and psychosocial support context, and the mental health profile of refugees (primarily Iraqi) and civilians in Syria.

Mental health, forced displacement and recovery: integrated mental health and psychosocial support for urban refugees in Syria

This article describes a pilot mental health and psychosocial support programme that was initiated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, after the massive influx of Iraqi refugees into Syria in 2006. The aim of the article is to provide: 1) an overall description of the programme for refugees within an urban setting, including initial outcome data; and 2) a description of applying a theoretical model to influence programme design and evaluation. This programme, based on good practice, began in 2008.

Healing through sharing: an outreach project with Iraqi refugee volunteers in Syria

In 2003, civil conflict and war broke out in Iraq, leading to the displacement of millions across the region. This report describes a project initiated by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in 2007 that sought to draw on the skills and experiences of Iraqi refugee women, in Syria, in order to assist in identifying and supporting the most vulnerable refugees in the population. Among the 180 Iraqi outreach refugee volunteers were teachers, doctors, psychologists, artists and others.

Personal reflections on a psychosocial community outreach programme and centre in Damascus, Syria

This personal reflection describes the experiences of a Syrian psychologist who works as a (volunteer) supervisor of the mental health and psychosocial support programme of the UN Refugee Agency in Syria. Her reflections touch on the importance of psychosocial community outreach and an outreach counselling centre. The author also reflects on her background, motivation and challenges, as well as the impact of the current situation.

Painting glass as a psychosocial intervention: reflections of a psychosocial refugee outreach volunteer in Damascus, Syria

This personal reflection describes the experience of a psychosocial refugee outreach volunteer in Syria. Born and raised in Iraq, the author fled with her family to Syria in an attempt to escape the violence. Trained as an English teacher and educational psychologist in her home country, she volunteered to help other refugees in Syria and describes this as challenging, but very rewarding. Key factors to be able to continue her work are the importance of weekly supervision and being part of a team.